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21 January 2015

Social wellness: A vital way to well-being

The forgotten dimension of wellness

Experiences with friends, a happy family celebration, a meaningful discussion or a hug from your partner are all social interactions that contribute to our well-being. However, for more and more people, this type of physical communication is decreasing. Mega trends like urbanisation, development in technology and medical advancement has resulted in more people moving to big cities and living alone. Nowadays, single households are becoming the norm in Germany and many other countries within all age groups. Despite the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, virtual contacts rarely turn into real friends. Constant online communication often leads to increased isolation, creating an impression of being lonely together.

Do we need to fear an epidemic of loneliness? This might sound drastic, but it does demonstrate that loneliness can cause psychological and physical illnesses. Therefore, good health is not only physical and mental well-being but also social well-being. Social wellness focuses on this aspect.

Wellness: From the social to the individual experience and back

Many people associate the term wellness with peace and having time for themselves. However, this perception of wellness as mainly an individual experience is quite new. Since the origin of the bath in ancient times and thousands of years later during the Middle Ages, bathing houses also had a social element as well as its cleansing function. Roman bath facilities were a social meeting place and it was quite common to have political discussions or to have a meal together while bathing. The facilities often included restaurants, rooms to exercise, play games and cultural activities. The Romans had already understood that a healthy spirit and a healthy body are dependent on each other.

This holistic approach is the essence of how we understand the term ‘wellness’.  Wellness is seen as an essential element to achieving a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. This includes improving fitness levels, knowing how to relax, healthy eating as well as improving happiness through social interaction. A wellness holiday always includes massages, meditation courses, sporting activities and wellness vitality cuisine. However, the dimension of social togetherness has been forgotten over the years, especially as the social element is as important as physical and mental well-being. This is why social wellness focuses on the social element of wellness.

Social wellness heightens social well-being

In the German wellness hotel industry, the basic idea behind social wellness isn’t a completely new one. “Twenty years ago we made the social aspect of wellness an important component of what is required of a wellness hotel” says Michael Altewischer, managing director of Wellness-Hotels & Resorts. “Activities which enable guests to enjoy time together have always played an important role, particularly as we have become more aware of its importance.” This certainly doesn’t mean that the relaxation areas in wellness hotels are going to disappear in the future. They are an essential oasis of silence in our quite often noisy and hectic daily life. “It is more about the mixture of these relaxation areas with rooms for communication”, says Altewischer.

Guests don’t need to be concerned about stereotypical travel groups or games for singles in their wellness hotel. Instead guests can look forward to the endless possibilities of sharing experiences within a group. It can come in the form of guided walks with the hotel owner’s family, to cooking courses, lectures and concerts. More options can be a wellness breakfast with the spa management team or coaching on topics like partnership, relationships and mindfulness. “Each of our Wellness-Hotels & Resorts’ members offer a variety of social wellness experiences according to the overall concept of the hotel”, explains wellness expert Michael Altewischer. Whether you are 20 or 70, the social support is a major component of a healthy and happy life. 


More information and pictures:

::: Wibke Leder
::: Press officer
::: Wellness-Hotels & Resorts GmbH
::: Haroldstraße 14 | D-40213 Düsseldorf
::: fon: +49 (0)211.679 69 60 | fax: +49 (0)211.679 69 68
::: http://www.wellnesshotels-resorts.com | led@wh-r.com


WELLNESS-HOTELS & RESORTS (W-H-R) is a cooperation of fifty hotels located in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands and Italy. It is the leading association for spa-experiences and since twelve years located on top of the german spa-hotel-industry. Meanwhile, next to the first pionieers, there are carefully selected, mostely owner-managed german spa-resorts and international partners in the four or five star-rated-segments. Independent TÜV-experts proof the spa-area of the hotels under the aspects of generosity, innovation and sustainability. A bulked catalogue of WELLNESS-HOTELS & RESORTS (in German) can be ordered at: www.wellnesshotels-resorts.de and +49.(0)211.679 69 69.